Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lorenz Business Card

As an educator I am continuously upset by people who try to limit information from others. To me it sounds as though the record companies want to thwart people just because they aren't getting any money from Youtube. 
This article is proof that as long as large companies run our society, we will only be fed the media they want us to see, hear, read about. 
This also brings about an issue I have about the internet and the public school system. I don't understand why Youtube is blocked on the school's internet server. There are so many educational videos which could be downloaded. 

Rights Clash on YouTube

I feel like YouTube /Google should develop the technology to distinguish between professional music videos and amateur work. It seems pretty ridiculous that a young girl singing a Christmas carol could pose any kind of threat to the success or well being of a company like Warner. The problem arises with the fact that while the amateurs aren’t making any profit off their videos, YouTube is. I could see how Warner would want to get their hands on what they feel is rightfully theirs. (After all, the sign language teacher’s video featuring Foreigner was probably the only money Warner has made off of that band in years!) It’s hard for me to pick sides- which billion-dollar company should reap profits of these amateur videos? Hmmm…
I think its especially unfair to remove videos like Juliet Weybret’s- she is not even playing an actual recording of the song, she herself is singing it. Once you start to remove videos like this you are just asking for trouble. This freedom is why so many people use YouTube! Once they start claiming that these personal renditions are somehow copyright infringements, YouTube is going to alienate and ultimately loose the very contributors who generate their revenue.

Music, Videos and Money.

It’s always sad to see when issue with money becomes the most important thing. Clearly we value money over self-expression and creativity. I doubt this whole issue with the copyright would have happened if you Tube or Google were not involved. I feel this whole issue is going to hinder in a way the growth of aspiring artists. Typically I feel you begin your career as a singer, or musician or even a painter participating in some form of appropriation at some point or another. Like the article mention, the people who post their videos on you tube have no intention of making money off of it or doing a disservice to the original versions. They are just expressing themselves and their talents. Is Warner really that greedy? Is it really necessary for them to be all “this is my property, get off”? I think they need to set on a deal and just deal with it. They have more money then most people who post on you tube will ever have. Lame.
Although I am a fan of youtube and enjoy watching music videos on their site, Warner does have the right to block videos that feature their music. Copyrights are extremely important and are made to prevent people from stealing an artists work. If I was the writer of the song "Take on me" by A-Ha personally don't think I would appreciate someone taking my song and changing all the lyrics around, even if its for a humorous reason. Dustin McLean's video is extremely clever but when someone types in "Take on me" in the youtube search engine it would not be fair for his video to pop up next to A-Ha's. Although, I love being able to search for music on youtube it does get distracting with all the copies and covers that you have to filter through. I see Warner's point of why they would want their music removed from youtube, it isn't necessarily helping them rather it mainly improves youtube's profits.

Article 6

Looks like YouTube is not the same as it once was. I think part of the charm/coolness of YouTube was that anyone could be creative and post a video of them doing ANYthing. At leas that’s how I’ve always looked at it. Things always get more complicated when money and power become involved. I can see why Warner music would not want the original video and song up if they weren’t getting anything out of it, but why do they have to try and control the little people? People like the high school aspiring rock star and the sign language teacher are people doing creative things and are using music that they like to do it. I don’t see what big business has to lose with people like that. Sites like YouTube and make us feel as though we can truly express ourselves, but there is always someone lurking around the corner to bust us. What do they really have to lose??
My question is why won't youtube, now owned by mega mogul Google, strike a deal with warner music? Do they feel they don't need them? Or that the force of youtube will sweep the old boys' clubs rules away if they wait long enough? or that public opinion will somehow decide an outcome? I would like to be a fly on the wall, listening to that debate. That said, the question of ownership and what constitutes infringment in our brave new internetted world is ongoing. Youtube is a public forum, but lorded over by those with private interests. We've grown to think of it as a "freezone" equal oppurtunity employer (with no money exchanged.) Google is making money off of other peoples desire to show their stuff. Record companies have made innordinate profits off the backs of artists for years, because the only way for musicians to reach the masses was to be "discovered" by someone at a record co. and be promoted all the way to fame and fortune. Many have embraced independence, but the crumbling of the old ownership system has affected the artists too. While the new generation adapts to the new apparent Glastnost, there are many musicians who feel they have lost even more control of their art. I know of one well known jazz player who would stop concert if he saw someone recording it. Others see it as free publicity. For artists, the struggle has always been how can I connect my work to the public, the way I envision it, and how can I make enough money to continue to be an artist. The modes of control are forever shifting but ultimatly the issue of money emerges on either side. How bout if we do away with this pesky money thing. It complicates everything!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Personally, I always find this kind of research to be annoying. If you want to study the brain and it's reaction to stimuli, fine. That in itself can be fascinating. The process of all these electric impulses working together to form a concept of reality, real or created is interesting and profound. But trying to measure beauty, or to say that there is such thing as "universal beauty" seems to me ridiculous. We do not all find the same things beautiful. Maybe there are specific parts of our brains that "activate" when we find something beautiful, but any composite potrait I've seen, claiming to create "the perfect face" does nothing for me. And comparing brain centers lighting up during a deeply moving experience looking at a painting, to someone responding to it's financial or cultural "value" is just silly! (and a superficial understanding.) Obviously they are not the same in any real way. Though there are some images many people respond to positivly, I think  personal experiences including memories and dreams have as much if not more to do with personal taste then some concept of universal beauty, or an external value system. Of course we are all influenced by our cultural experience and maybe to some extent by genetic memory. I wonder what someone from a completely different culture would think, looking at some of our "masterpieces. I can't help but be reminded of the movie "the Gods must be Crazy." It seems to me this article is extremely eurocentric and egocentric on the part of the author and his subject. Their attempts try to neatly package the power of the language of art by breaking it down to compartments which they observe, but in my mind, don't understand. The part of this article I found most interesting was the concept that it is nearly impossible to translate what is in an artists mind to actualization.  I thought the idea that the reason we relate to unfinished works is that realization of the impossibility of perfection in a finished piece was correct. Now that I'm writing this, it sounds rather highbrow and pretentious. but still, somthing about it is interesting to me. I think an unfinished artwork, invites the viewer partly to finish it with thier own mind. They become part of the creative process. And that is satisfying on some level.

vector self portrait- Pinktastic

Lorenz: YouTube vs. Warner

I think that companies like Warner need to learn to pick their battles.  I understand and respect the fact that they own certain copyrights and have the right to protect them, but most of what's on YouTube seems like it should be a pretty low priority.  If a 15 year old wants to sing a Christmas carol that's been around for 60 years, why not let her sing it?  We all know it, we've all heard it a thousand times on the radio, so what's the big deal?  
I'm not sure what the correct action in this case actually is, though.  While I feel like it's a little ridiculous to target people who use a song for a few seconds in the background of a video, the copyright does belong to Warner.  If they don't want it played, that's their prerogative.  It's a tricky issue, but hopefully YouTube and Warner can come up with a sensible agreement to retain the rights of both Warner and the public.

YouTube Vs. Warner

As ridiculous as it may seem that Warner Music Group removed a 15 year old girl’s cover of a Christmas carol, I don’t necessarily disagree with them. It’s just business. The article states that YouTube has licensing deals with numerous major music companies, so for every popular song that plays on YouTube, someone is making money by allowing YouTube to keep it up on the website. For whatever reason, Warner and YouTube could not agree on a deal, so Warner is just reacting to this. I agree that pulling the video of a guy teaching sign language may be going overboard, but Warner stated that their song identifying software is automatic and has no way of distinguishing professional from amateur. This is a much more efficient way of removing videos than having someone manually go through them, which would be pretty much impossible. Warner may seem like the bad guy here, but they are just doing what they need to do. I think any other music company would do the same thing if they could not agree to terms with YouTube. As much as it stinks, people need to remember that there’s always a risk when you post something on the internet. Having Warner remove the videos is not the worst thing that could have happened, being sued would be a lot worse.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Al Greene's Self Portrait

Al Greene's Self Portrait

The New Real

This article brings up some interesting questions. I see the positive aspects of digitally reproducing great masterpieces to for example exhibit them where the artist intended originally. But I think that Walter Benjamin's concept of an art work having an aura is still true. With reproduction, or cloning this aura could be lost, or multiplyed? The artist intended to make, and made only one masterpiece. When technology alows us to clone, "one of a kinds" and put them in the place of the original it is a tribute, but it also reminds me of the missing master. More people can experience it but, is there experianc authentic?

Rights Clash on YouTube

I think the most important thing is to focus more on the professionally-made material while letting amateur videos made for fun remain on YouTube. Removing home videos with songs playing in the background is nonsense to me.

This reminds me of when I was in school for graphic design. We were told to change an image in seven distinct ways before using it in our work. I am not sure if there is any legal merit to that, but it is a good way to scare people out of using other people's work.

I'm not sure where the line should be drawn. Copyright laws should be frequently reviewed and updated to keep up with the rapidly-changing means of creating, using and sharing media.

YouTube vs Warner

I think that if the internet is the new democratizing instrument for communication that we all claim it is), then companies such as google, should be allowed to provide viewers with as many different clips, news articles, photos, songs, etc... Old businesses, and their laws no longer apply. News papers, record labels, & film studios have been making millions for years, and now as new companies and technologies rise, old ones need to find new ways of making money or they will sink. Survival of the fittist, that in the nature of capitalism, for better or worst.

YouTube vs. Warner Music

I understand that copyright is an important thing for music and even artworks itself. But since YouTube is a public website, and anyone could sign up for it, I think that people should not have to take down their video unless it is not appropriate for the public eye. Most of the users of YouTube are usually amateur, and they post up video for fun to share with friends and family. I feel that the Warner Music Group should not have had YouTube to tell the high school sophomore to take down her video, in a way it is her own version of the song. If every song is copyrighted, which it probably is, so people can’t just sing for fun, like in karaoke or other. What about American idol or America’s got talent, the contestant all sing already known songs. Even though if you tube ask everyone to take down their video because it was copyrighted, there will be other websites that will post up. The corporations will have to track down every websites. I just feel that to keep both sides happy, maybe the users should add on the artist and title of the song, so that they are not “stealing” the song, they mentioned it.


Before I began to read the article, I was looking at the picture. It felt like someone scratching the blackboard, with the chills down my spine. The white lines reminded me of that. It was as if someone did not like the painting and decided to scratch of everyone that has eyes on the painting. But the article was not really related to the artwork. I felt that it is true in a way of how people think about a artwork. It could be because they saw another style first and decides that it is beautiful. When they look at another style they may think it’s not art or something, especially, between a figurative and abstract artwork. People may choose the figurative because it is more representational, whereas the abstract one is abstract. Ever heard someone say “oh, I could do that too, how hard is it to paint a box?” and you wonder how the brain works. To me, I feel that the brain works from experience on what the person may have learned or not learned, experienced and not experienced. It would be really interesting to find out how the brain really works, when looking at artwork. Like, why a person like a certain style over another style. Is it because of experiences or is it that that’s just how the brain works.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Warner VS Youtube

I feel that the face that Warner Bros are preventing regular people from posting covers of songs is getting to be a little ridiculous. Even videos that have a song in the background? Why? I feel like its more of a benefit because people could be watching the video and wondering who the singer really is, gaining more exposure and free advertising for the artists. These people are not making money off of doing covers, and its obvious that it is a cover. I can see Warner Bros side, but I don't think its as valid of a reason, especially trying to take innocent people to court. It makes me afraid almost to put any video up on youtube. A student where I was student teaching made a pixilation video with a popular song in the background, and it was credited, but youtube ended up deleting it because of the song. I thought it was unfair, and almost ridiculous in that matter. 
It is very hard now to copyright anything that is online. Any piece of artwork I post on the internet is basically not mine anymore. There is a lot of debate on who owns the artwork when you post it, even posting a piece of your work on Facebook. There is tiny print on Facebook that says they own any picture you post on their site, which makes me not want to post anything on there.

Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group and the other music moguls are slowly losing control of the music industry and seeking every opportunity to try win back as much money as they can with their current copyright laws. Warner Music Group needs to realize that some of their copyrighted material might actually remain popular and/or experience a renaissance because of outlets like YouTube. By dismantling the viewing process they are also decreasing viewer and listenership; which in the end might prevent the natural discovery from happening. Resources like YouTube might actually help Warner Music Group’s own sales of the original songs on their label.

As a stop gap measure, Warner Music Group needs to take a step back and let the natural creative expression happen and strike a deal with Google to a. tap into the advertising revenue, and b. try to upgrade YouTube’s software capabilities so that it can distinguish between professionally made music videos and amateur material. One hiccup is that the line between professionally made videos and amateur ones is also slowly closing. However, none of the amateur artists are trying to make a profit off the copyrighted material and therefore should not be penalized.